Published: Sept. 17, 2021

The CU Boulder McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO grant designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair Scholars are either first-generation college students with financial need or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. The program goal to increase PhD attainment for students from underrepresented segments of society.

Graduate student mentors will be matched one-to-one with an undergraduate McNair Scholar. Graduate student mentors provide increased access to guidance on the graduate school application and transition process through their own recent experiences entering doctoral study. We hope mentor-scholar relationships will persist and develop over the course of an academic year (or longer if desired). The time commitment is small, but the impact is large.

The McNair Scholars graduate student mentors will be asked to:

  • Meet with scholars twice per semester (hybrid model, as each mentor-mentee individually decides) to answer questions related to the graduate school application process, the transition into graduate study, mentor's experiences in their program of study, and other aspects of life as a doctoral student.
  • Use their personal experiences to help guide scholars through the process of applying to doctoral programs and fellowship competitions.
  • Provide support and encouragement to scholars as they navigate the transition from undergraduate to graduate study in their respective fields.

Graduate students who are interested in becoming a McNair mentor should complete the Google survey on or before Friday, Sept. 24. The survey asks applicants for a short bio, which will be distributed to all current McNair Scholars to facilitate matching mentors and scholars. Current McNair Scholars are mostly studying in the STEM fields, with fewer in the social sciences and humanities.

There will be an onsite meet-and-greet on Tuesday, Oct. 12, from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. for scholars and mentors and a virtual mentor training session on Friday, Oct. 22, (time TBD). Interested graduate students can email with any additional questions.